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Explain why the Provision Ground System was established in the Caribbean during slavery and discuss their economics and social consequences for the slave population.

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Introduction

Subject: History Name: Calla Gumbs Tutor: Mrs. I Lake Form: 6B - African Experiences: The Provision Ground System -Explain why the Provision Ground System was established in the Caribbean during slavery and discuss their economics and social consequences for the slave population. The Provision Ground System was established in the Caribbean during slavery and played an important role in the whole African Experience. The purpose of this paper is to explain why provision grounds were established and to discuss their economic and social consequences for the slave population. During the nineteenth century, the working activities of slaves in the Caribbean extended beyond the production of export commodities.(1) Several plantation owners developed a system where slaves would produce their own goods on the provision during their "free" time. This arrangement saved money and tied the slaves more closely to the plantations, (2) ...read more.

Middle

As a result of the establishment of the provision ground system in the Caribbean during slavery, there were several economic and social consequences for the slave population. While provision ground cultivation arose from the planter's attempts to reduce costs and create an interest for the slaves in the well-being of the estate, it resulted in the formation of a sphere of slave organized activity that became necessary for the operation of the plantation system. (1) The provision ground arrangement had an exceptional economics value in most islands because it was a guaranteed means of cheap labour and could be considered to be highly advantageous to the economy. Furthermore, with the establishment of the provision ground system, there were not only economic consequences but social outcomes as well. If for the master, the provision ground was the means to guarantee cheap labour, for the slave, it was the means to elaborate an autonomous style of life. ...read more.

Conclusion

(1) To conclude, it is my belief that both the slaves and the slaveholders benefited from the provision ground system. During free time, the slaves could escape the repression of slavery and pretend to be the leaders of their own economy. The social outcomes were greatest considering the fact that they would be brought together to sell their own crops. The sense of well being and ownership also came from the provision ground system, emotions not felt before the introduction of the arrangement. The bonds of dependence of the slave upon the master began to slowly dissolve and the slaves' activities gradually transformed the foundations of slave society itself. (1) The provision ground system is stipulated by several historians to be a very significant part of the African experience because 'it assumed new importance with changing economic and political conditions and the imminent prospect of emancipation. (1) ...read more.

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